Night of the Notables reflection

Commencing answering list questions:

As to how I fulfilled my goals, I don’t really think I did. My goal was to learn how to suppress my Tourette Syndrome, and mostly what I learned is that everyone has their own tactic, and not all of them will work for someone else. Essentially, I learned that I just have to figure it out for myself. To improve on future learning activities like this project, I think I would make more of an attempt to integrate my goal into the assignment. For example, one of the tabs on my learning center could have been “how to suppress Tourette Syndrome”

What I think I will remember the most about Night of the Notables is the old lady that came to my station. I swear that she was in the running for sweetest old lady of all time. It seems that she did NOTHING but compliment my every move, and it wasn’t forced, rather it was actually very sincere. I was half expecting some people to come to my learning center and attempt to undermine everything, or maybe nobody would come at all. But this nice old lady made the whole night easily twice as good as it was before.

The people I would like to thank for the Night of the Notables are Ms.Mulder (or course) for being so on top of everything and making sure that there was nothing left undone. I would also like to thank my interviewee (Ashley Menard) for being very open to my request for an interview, and being very accommodating in setting up a time.

Photos of learning center:

Annotated Biblography

I think the title speaks for itself on this one…

This one was a very short government resource that i just used to clarify a couple of brief facts. It was pretty useless, and I didn’t really need it. There was supposedly more to it, but I couldn’t access the rest of the article.
Like the last one, this article only briefly touched on some key facts. It did lead me in the right direction for what the key moments in his life were, but since this was only an abstract there wasn’t enough information to be properly used in my learning center or speech. Overall, it was a pretty useless article.

This was a very fact based document, and I used it’s information for any exact facts that I needed in my speech and learning center. For example, his cause of death, birth date, family and so on. This article was useful in my learning center/speech, but not necessary.

This article contained a lot of information, and was used in most aspects of my learning center and speech. It is one of the longer articles, and I felt that I could mostly trust it. However, I still doubled checked all the facts to see if they were in any other resources, just in case some of them were faulty. This was a very useful article.

This article was nearly identical to the two at the beginning, and i only briefly read it in case it had something interesting that other articles didn’t have. Overall, this article could have been eliminate from this list.

This article was practically the basis for my entire project. It was ridiculously long compared to the others, and was translated from what I  believe is German, so it was a bit choppy. However, it contained a lot of information that was not so fact based, but rather more about his life. I found this article extremely helpful, and I used it as my main resource.

This article was the one that I trusted the most, since it was written by the Tourette Foundation of Canada. I actually got an interview with the woman that wrote it. I used this article for a lot of my note taking, and for clarifying information. This was a very useful article.

I found this article to be very useful. It was originally in Spanish, so I had to translate which made it a bit odd to read. However, there was a lot of information, and I found it to be a very useful article.

This website I used for most of my information on the Rose Kamper event, as it was the most detailed depiction of this moment. Originally, I though why should I trust soething called “mind hacks”, however, I discovered it was a published book so I am going to assume it is at least semi-accurate. The information I found was clarified elsewhere, this was just the most detailed. I found this to be a very helpful resource.

This article I had originally used to find out how common tourette syndrome is, however I found out that the study they documented was out of date, and I later found on Tourette Foundation of Canada ( said that it affects 1 in 100 people, whereas the article I used first said 1 in 1000. I found the children.webmd article to be useless after discovering it was false information, however was a very useful site, as I got my interview there as well.


From my interview, I got more social information on tourette syndrome. More can be found about this in my previous posts.

Foster Olive, M., Tourette Syndrome, New York: Chelsea House, 2010, Hardcover

This book offered a resource that i could use to clarify information when I was not sure. I did not use it too much, since I didn’t always have the option to carry it around with me. I rate this book as an ok resource.

Rogers, Sheila, Natural Treatments for Tics and tourette’s, Berkely California, North Atlantic Books, Paperback

I had picked up this book since I thought that it might be interesting to see what they offered as their natural treatments, however I did not use any of it’s information since it 1: would have taken days to read, and 2: The first thing I read when I opened it is that wheat and dairy free diets help with tourette syndrome. I personally think that wheat/dairy free diets are just a fad, since everybody seems to think it will solve their problems and a lot of the time it does nothing. Therefore, I didn’t really trust this book as facts, but rather speculations. I rate it an untrustworthy and generally useless resource.

Document of Learning

For my document of learning, I am going to do a simple overview of what I have accomplished so far, show everyone my object of focus for my learning centre, and talk about how my learning has related back to my goals and such.

The first thing I did for my eminent person project was to choose an eminent person (Oh really?). I had a few people running through my brain, and I was trying to decide which was the most interesting one that I could connect with. My main idea at the time was Joe Satriani, and I was considering doing him for the grade ten year when we got to dress up. Yet because I wanted to do him in grade ten, I needed somebody else to use. A had a few thoughts, but my mom eventually suggested the man that diagnosed tourettes syndrome, since it has had an impact on my life. So I did some research, and came up with Gilles de la Tourette. He seemed like the perfect person to do, and I later discovered how much he related to my Word, dedication, as he is one of the most dedicated people I have ever read about (kept working after being shot in the head…).

Now that my eminent person had been picked, I needed to find resources. I looked around on the internet, and found a bunch of websites about Gilles that I could use, so I made a list of their links.

these websites proved to all be excellent resources, and because they were all about the same subject I could read them all to clarify what information was accurate based on whether or not it was reoccurring.

The next step was obtaining an interview. I did this by searching the web for non-profit organizations on tourettes syndrome, and contacted each one of them asking about an interview. I obtained an interview, and synthesized my results to be put into my learning center. More information on the subject can be found in my previous post.

The next step was writing my actual speech, which I didn’t actually find all that difficult. It took me two days to write, and only a few hours since I already had an outline and all of my information ready. Quite conveniently, my speech was almost exactly seven minutes, so I did not have to try and take any pieces out or add anything in. My speech was told by Jean-Martin Charcot, the mentor of Gilles de la Tourette, after he had passed away.

Now to tell you about my object of focus. While browsing the Tourettes Foundation of Canada website, I happened across their blog. Upon further inspection, I noticed that in the resources sections they had a short entry about a tourettes simulating game. This intrigued me, since it would be a great way to attract people and give them a perspective of what tourettes syndrome can be like.I tested the game out, and quite enjoyed it. It is a legend of zelda original style game, where the goal is to proceed through doors to your final objective. All the while, you have a stress meter that builds up, and when it gets to high, you do some sort of a twitch that can interrupt the game and cause your death. I found this game very entertaining, and decided it would be perfect for an object of focus in my learning center. A link to the game is here:

And now to talk about how my learning has related to my goals. I believe I mentioned this in an earlier post, but my eminent person study doesn’t really properly relate to my IEP goals. One could say it does, since a goal is to never hand in a late assignment, so I guess finishing things on time relates to my goal? As for my word, it has taken some ridiculous amounts of dedication to complete each part of this project, as I am very easily distracted by typing “youtube” into the URL bar. Because of this, I believe this assignment relates very well to my Word of choice. This assignment relates back to my goal stated in my introductory post (make an effort to suppress my tourettes syndrome) since as I learn more about Gilles de la tourette, I also learn more about the syndrome, and therefore I learn about ways that I can help myself suppress my tourettes syndrome.

Anyways, the end. I can’t exactly think of a good conclusion for this, so simply put,




Eminent inteview

TSFC_LogoTo get an interview with somebody for my eminent person (Gilles de la Tourette), I contacted three different places. To find these places, I simply looked up non-profit tourettes organizations online, and sent messages out to the ones that offered an e-mail address. I then typed up a one paragraph e-mail that I used in all my messages with slight modifications to make sure that I was always coming across as polite and professional, which was this:

“Hi, my name is Aidan MacDonald. In a gifted program at Gleneagle Secondary, we were assigned to research an eminent person who has had an effect on our lives. For my person, I chose Gilles de la Tourette. I made this choice since I have been growing up with a form of tourettes syndrome involving motor only twitches, no vocal ones, and I would like to know more about the person that first diagnosed the syndrome. It is required in the project to get an interview with an expert on the subject to further our understanding of our eminent person. I was wondering if it would be possible to set up an interview with someoneF, or if you could guide me to somewhere that I may get an interview. Any method of communication would work for me, depending on what the interviewee  finds most convenient, and it would be a simple matter of a few pre-prepared questions. Although it may be too much to ask, it would be much appreciated if you could assist me.

Thank you,
–Aidan MacDonald”

The first place I contacted was the Tourettes Foundation of Canada, and it took them a while to respond. While I was waiting for a response, I also contacted the Vancouver chapter of the Tourettes Foundation and the Kelty Mental Health Centre. The vancouver chapter and Kelty were rather fruitless, Kelty recommended me to the vancouver chapter and the vancouver chapter recommended I come to one of their support group meetings. Soon after getting these replies though, I got a message back from a worker named Ashley at the Tourettes Foundation of Canada, who gave me a phone number and times that I could call her as well as the hours in which she was free.

After receiving this message, I got to work formulating my questions for the interview. My thought process went like this:

Interview Questions


  1. Social Impacts


  • Common misconceptions
  • Contributing factors
  • Effects of tourettes on lifestyle


  1. Research
  • Does tourettes get enough attention?
  • Are there ways being developed to assist people with tourettes?
  • Should people with tourettes be classified as ‘handicapped’ or in need of extra care?


  1. The Man
  • Do you know anything about Gilles?
  • What impact do you think he had on tourettes, would somebody have stepped in instead of him and researched it?



  1. What do you know about Gilles de la Tourette? Do you think he is a name commonly known in modern neurology or a forgotten person?
  2. If Gilles hadn’t researched tourettes syndrome, do you think somebody would have stepped into his place?
  3. What impacts do you think Gilles research will have down the road? 50 years? 100 years?
  4. Do you think there are common misconceptions in society about tourettes? What do you think has caused them?
  5. What do you believe are the effects of tourettes syndrome on a person’s lifestyle?
  6. Do you think having tourettes can be a handicap to some and cause them to be less able than others?
  7. In what ways is tourettes currently being researched? Do you think it is getting the attention it deserves?

After creating these questions, I made a bit of a pre-prepared script so that I wouldn’t stumble on the phone and to help me maintain a professional appearance. The script read:

“Hi, my name is Aidan MacDonald, I sent you an e-mail earlier this week about a school research project on Gilles de la Tourette. Would now be a good time to talk, or should I call back another time?

Although I’m learning a lot about tourettes syndrome in this “Eminent Person” project, the main focus is on Gilles de la Tourette—specifically what importance he had or how he has made a contribution to the world. Do you know anything about him?”

A slightly modified version of this script was used in the actual phone call so that I wouldn’t sound so robotic. After introducing myself, we went through the questions. I found it rather difficult to type proper notes while I was holding the phone, but I modified them after the conversation to make them more readable.


  1. Common mistake is that people think Gilles de la Tourette had Tourettes, but he didn’t. it was named for him because he was first to identify it. He then Published an article called Malady des tiques. He is remembered because of name of the syndrome, not much else.
  2. Probably wasn’t only person. There would have been others around that could take his place.
  3. The impact that Gilles de la Tourette made was in identifying the condition and making it known, he started discussion about Tourette syndrome when nobody knew about it. Probably to this day people still read about him when learning about the condition.
  4. There’s the misconception that It’s controllable. Tics making noise/move can be complex so they look voluntary behaviour but people can’t tell. Things like swearing gets too much attention.
  5. Tourettes syndrome can be isolating. People can feel misunderstood. May feel there’s something wrong with them. People with Tourettes syndrome have been found to have faster reflexes and can be more compassionate with others who have disabilities or unfortunate events like tripping. Still depends on person and symptoms.
  6. Depends, doesn’t have to be but people may need accommodation. Example in a school setting somebody with Tourettes syndrome may need to write things on a computer instead of writing it by hand.
  7. Lot of research into treatments. Research into genetics of tourettes. Scientists trying to find out what causes it. It is one of the most misunderstood conditions,it needs more attention to what is instead of the negative aspects of it.

These answers were followed by a quick thank you and a goodbye, and my interview was complete. Following up on this, I sent her a thank you e-mail later in the day which read:

“Thank you a lot for the interview this morning, the information you gave me was things that I was not able to find online and this will be a big help.”

I found this interview to be quite easy after introducing myself, but absolutely terrifying when leading up to the call. I have no issue at all with public speaking, but phone conversations are a different story. Talking 1 on 1 with a total stranger that you can’t actually see is something I find to be very stress inducing, especially if I need to put any effort into sounding professional.

I think that in the end I received some valuable information, mostly on the society side of tourettes syndrome. I learned things like the impact of tourettes on people lives, and how it is currently being researched in modern society. Because Ashley works with many people who have tourettes syndrome instead of just one, she gets different perspectives on it which she could then give to me, therefore I got a society angle on the subject. I, on the other hand, am just one person with the opinions on tourettes of only one person, therefore I cannot know all the information that she could. Most of the information that she gave me was very new, and didn’t relate to what I had already found, since my research was more on the factual side and not a society point of view. However, the information she gave me on Gilles de la Tourette matched what I already had. After this, I don’t think I need to know any more information, as I have already done extensive research. I can now proceed into writing my speech right away. The information that she gave me will not be used in my speech very much, but it will be a large part to my learning center since one of my goals from before was to make people more aware of tourettes syndrome, and how it’s not necessarily a negative thing. Her answers were very valuable to my project, and I think that I contacted exactly the right person.


organization: 25

Information: 10

Overall: 15